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Boss DS-1 Distortion

produced: 1978 to present

Boss DS-1 Distortion, 1979

This is one of the classic distortion pedals, maybe even the most influental - with notable users like Kurt Cobain, Steve Vai, Joe Satrini, John Frusciante, Billie Joe Armstrong and many others. The DS-1 produces a distortion sound with a hard edge and is known to have a very low noise level compared to other distortion pedals. Tone gourmets deem the earlier Japan made pedals to sound better than the later ones made in Taiwan. The DS-1 has a very simple circuit, based on a single op-amp, throughout the first years of production this being a Toshiba TA7136AP. The distortion is produced using a variable gain circuit with diodes shorting the output to ground in order to produce hard clipping of the input waveform ( as similar to the Pro Co RAT distortion pedal). This distortion stage is followed by a passive tone filter and volume control. The tone control is scooped in the midrange. It consists of a simple fixed -6dB/okt low pass filter and a simple fixed -6dB/okt high pass filter using a potentiometer to mix the two signals.

Boss DS-1 Distortion manual (1978)
PDF-Dokument [960.5 KB]
Boss DS-1 Distortion schematic
GIF-Datei [15.9 KB]

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02/25/2017: ToneHome is looking for an Ibanez CS-505 narrow box first issue with flying fingers side graphic. Any hint is highly appreciated. Other than that we're looking for boxed effects or just boxes for Ibanez narrow box GE-601, AD-80, CP-835, OD-850. Please submit your offers or leads here: e-mail

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